Friday, March 24, 2006

Give Me Strength Soup - Mexican Flavors

Give Me Strength Soup is a concept rather than a recipe. This is a soup to make when you feel: battered by the world, fed up with the rain and cold, like your mono is coming back, really tired, grumpy, and generally out-of-sorts.

Give Me Strength Soup has three requirements:
1. Lots of protein (to give you physical strength)
2. Spiciness and heat (to rekindle your warrior spirit)
3. Color (to remind you that life is art)

Soup is a wonderful food for many reasons. It's also a food you can easily make your own, with all your favorite comfort foods. This Give Me Strength Soup features Mexican flavors.

For protein, I included red lentils, tofu, black beans and garbanzo beans. I'll also add a grated cheese topping this evening.

For spiciness and heat - my fiery friend the jalapeno - a combo of freshly chopped and nacho sliced from a jar.

For color, I included carrots, green peppers, black beans, cilantro, and purple cabbage. The purple cabbage was inspired by the bold Purple Cabbage and Sweet Potato Soup this week at Gluten-Free Goddess.

I added rutabagas, potatoes, and rice for comfort.

Here's the recipe:

2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, finely chopped
3 gloves garlic, minced
1 large potato, peeled and chopped in 1" pieces
1 medium large rutabaga, peeled and chopped in to 1/2" pieces
2 carrots, sliced
1/2 large green pepper, chopped
1 cup purple cabbage, chopped
1/2 large fresh jalapeno, finely chopped
5 cups water or vegetable stock
1/3 cup red lentils
10 oz can diced tomatoes & green chilies
15 oz can organic black beans, rinsed
6 oz tofu (cut into squares)
1 cup cooked rice
1/2 cup+ chopped cilantro
Salt & Pepper

In a large cauldron, melt the butter, add the olive oil and the red onion. Cook the onion for 3-4 minutes, then add the rutabaga, potato, carrots and garlic. Cover and cook on medium heat for 5-6 minutes. Add the purple cabbage and jalapeno and cook 1 more minute. Add the water and red lentils and bring to a boil. Season as desired. (Optional: Puree the diced tomatoes and green chilies.) Add the tomatoes. Lower the heat to low and simmer for 25 minutes. Add the black beans, and tofu and cook for 8-10 minutes. Add the rice and cilantro. Cook 2 minutes and check seasonings.

Ladle the soup into a large bowl and top with your choice of sour cream, grated cheddar, salsa, tortilla strips and nacho jalapenos.

Find a zen spot where you have a pretty view and won't be disturbed. Eat.


Blogger Fiber said...

This sounds fantastic. I will have to make this soon!

11:07 AM  
Blogger karina said...

And don't we ALL need some Give Me Strength soup from time to time! Love it!

12:57 PM  
Blogger Catherine said...

and it really works!

9:16 PM  
Blogger Robyn said...

I'm really clueless about lentils. Are these dry ones? And do you soak them first or do they just hydrate in the soup?

8:09 PM  
Blogger Catherine said...

Hi Robyn,

The red lentils used here are actually orange in color and are lentils that have had the outer seed coat removed (they're split). They cook much faster that other lentils which makes them a great high-protein thickener for soups.

8:32 PM  
Blogger Catherine said...

And Robyn, to answer your question, they are dried and do not require any soaking (they should be carefully rinsed, however).

8:33 PM  

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